Breathing in and out, I calm my body. I smell the salt of sweat born of tropical heat, and make a conscious effort to match the rhythm of my movements to the beat of my inhalations.
Thunk, thunk, thunk.
I stretch upwards and swing my knee, then body, with dancer-like control, down into a low pigeon pose. Breathing in, I straighten my spine, breathing out, I fold forward, touching my nose to my knee.
Ga-THUNK, ga-thunk, ga-thunk.
I ignore the din of the rubber ball and pretend not to notice the press of little paws up the back of my leg as I count for a minute’s hold. When the minute is up, I rise out of my fold…
…and get stuck under the little furry body standing over my leg.
Thunkity, thunk-thunk goes the black rubber ball.
“I know you don’t understand this, baby girl, but mama can’t play with you just now. Give me 5 more minutes, okay Dottles?”
Baby girl does not get it.
I lay down and move into a side stretch, and there she is, lying down alongside my back. I switch to upward-facing dog and all 23 pounds of my upward-facing dog plops down on my legs. I try happy baby pose, and thunk! she drops the rubber ball on my crotch. (Given its predictability, I mighta’ had that one coming.)
I give up, trying desperately to finish in one last restful pose, and there is Dot nudging the ball in my hands, up my side, between my legs, and over my chest until finally I can’t help it.
I laugh out loud, in a great big belly laugh. Then I get up and go toss her the ball.
I might not have gotten my shavasana, but it’s sure hard not to find joy in life when there’s a little cuddly buddy trying to get you to play.